Danner have worn their heritage on their sleeve in reimagining their 1970s classic Danner Light - the first boot to use a GoreTex liner - in modern materials. But the throwback styling hides a well thought-out use of current lightweight technology.
The old-fashioned looks might lead you to expect a heavy, chunky boot, but the weight is the great surprise with the Explorer 650, and they weigh in at 935 grams per pair. Innovative design is behind it; introducing durable nylon panels in strategic areas to replace the heavier leather (and at the same time increasing breathability), shaving off rubber from the sole in areas of low-wear, and collaborating with Vibram to create a new outsole from their Megagrip compound and incorporating the Vibram SPE midsole.
The result is a highly technical boot in a package from a bygone age. The Explorer 650 is a joy to wear all day thanks to its weight, but equally has the guts to support a full day's hiking on any terrain.
We bang on about versatility in our gear reviews, but it's essential to the active traveller who needs to pack as little as possible for a wide range of uses. The Danner Explorer 650 could be as close to a 'quiver of one' as any pair of footwear we've seen; light and comfortable enough for all day wear, sturdy and technical enough for challenging hikes, and with the looks to wear in the smartest of first class lounges. And the price tag is way below some equivalent boots. A superb product and even better value.